Erik Erikson’s 8 Stages of Life and Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

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Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust
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This stage occurs from birth to 2 years of age. Infants are more willing to trust their environment and the people around them when they feel nurtured and loved. Neglect produces children that are skeptical about everything.
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Stage 2: Autonomy/Independence vs. Shame and Doubt
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This stage occurs around 2-3 years of age. It focuses on a child’s need to feel like they are able to do basic things on their own, like feeding themselves. If parents continue to do everything for their children and do not give them enough independence, their children will feel like they are not able to do things by themselves. They will always seek to have mom or dad do things for them.
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Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt
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This stage occurs between the ages of 3-5 or 6 years–the preschool age. Kids in this stage start to get a general sense of right and wrong. Through interaction with other children their age, children begin to realize how their actions affect others. Here, the question “am I good or bad?” comes into play.
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Stage 4: Industry (competence) vs. Inferiority
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This stage occurs between the ages of 5 or 6 and 12 years (or puberty). This is the stage in which children begin elementary school. Children are beginning to feel a sense of accomplishment and success. Teachers become key figures in this stage. Their nurturing and encouragement enable a child to believe that they can achieve and be successful. If a child does not receive that encouragement, they feel as though they are not good enough and look for other alternatives where they can feel like they matter or that they are important. Bullies are formed at this stage. Reward and Punishment is the central idea of this stage.
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Stage 5: Identity vs. Identity Confusion
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This stage occurs between the ages of 12 and 18. In this stage pre-teens and teenagers can struggle with identifying themselves. Being exposed to constant judgement causes confusion, because then a person will try to keep up an image and create different personas. People in this stage will try to identify with other people that share the same interests as them and form tight groups.
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Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation
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Intimacy can be intellectual or sexual. You can connect with people by talking and sharing life stories and experiences or through relationships. People in this stage will try to find people they click with and develop strong relationships. Not forming close friendships and feeling as though no one in the world understands you causes you to become isolated.
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Stage 7: Generativity vs. Stagnation
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Between the ages of 40 and 60 is when this stage in life occurs. This is usually when people go through their midlife crisis. They try to find purpose in family and work to make them feel like they are still contributing to society and giving back, otherwise the meaning of life deteriorates.
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Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair
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From the age of 60 until death is when this stage occurs. It is the reflection of one’s life and feeling accomplished and satisfied with what they’ve done in life and accepting that life is coming to an end. They can also feel like their purpose in life is unfulfilled and are unsatisfied or regret a majority of what they did in the past. People who feel dispair in their final stage of life are scared and worried that life is coming to an end.
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PIAGET’S COGNITIVE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
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Sensorimotor
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Age range is from birth to 2 years old. Infants and small children experience the world around them primarily through their senses–mouthing, touching, looking,etc… Rooting reflex, curiosity, and internalization of schemas (background knowledge) occur during this first stage. Rooting reflex is a baby’s method of eating, sucking. Stranger anxiety also forms at this stage around the age of 8 months, springing from the beginning of schema formation. Object permanence is also a part of this stage. This usually doesn’t develop until 8 months of age. It is the concept of awareness of an object’s existence even when not seen.
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Schema
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Part of the sensorimotor stage of development. A concept of framework that organizes and interprets information.
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Assimilation
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Part of the sensorimotor stage of development. Interpreting one’s new experience in terms of one’s existing schema. Example: A child might have first been introduced to a dog at a very young age. Now every time they see a fuzzy animal with four legs and a tail, they associate it with what they know and call it a dog.
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Accommodation
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Part of the sensorimotor stage of development. Adapting one’s current schema to incorporate new information
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Harry Harlow’s Comfort Touch
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According to Harlow’s “cloth monkey, wire monkey with food experiment,” it has been proven that nourishment is important, but being physically close to something comforting is just as important, if not, more important. Lack of comfort touch produces an abnormally developed cerebellum in the brain.
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Preoperational
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Age range is between the ages of 2 and 6 or 7. In this stage children learn language, but do not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic. They are egocentric and are not able to consider anyone else’s point of view. Pretend play is also fun in this stage.
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Conservation
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Part of the preoperational stage, where properties of mass, number, and volume remain the same despite changes in form. Example: younger children will often believe that two identical glasses with the same amount of water increase or decrease in volume when poured into a different container. Older children know better.
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Concrete Operational
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Ages 6 or 7 to 11 years of age are in this stage of development. The purpose of this stage is to gain mental operations that enable one to think logically about concrete events (Black and White thinking). Children in this stage begin to learn and understand primary levels of mathematics, such as addition and subtraction.
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Formal Operational
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This stage occurs from the ages of 12 and up. People in this stage begin to think logically about abstract events (many shades of gray thinking). Hypothetical situations, empathy, and strategy develop during this stage. People in this stage are able to understand how to play games like Chess, which, both, requires that one strategizes and adheres to and understands truly how to play the game. Creativity is a big part of this stage of development, as well. Examples: Subjects like Algebra, Calculus, and Geometry make sense to people in this stage because they can perceive letters as being numbers and it makes sense to them.

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